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LaQuet Sharnell Pringle on her hotBroadway career and headlining this year’sDance Planet Festival FEARLESSARTISTRY byKatieDravenstott


dance to come back and participate in the annualDance Planet Festival. Previous headliners includeDylisCroman (Broadway production of Chicago),ChristopherVo (T.V. showSMASH) and TeresaEspinosa (L.A. crewBeat Freaks). LaQuet Sharnell Pringle joins this list of highly- esteemed dance professionals as the headliner for this year’sDance Planet 19which takesApril 11-12, 2015 atBooker T.WashingtonHigh School for the Performing andVisualArts (BTWHSPVA) inDowntown Dallas.


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Pringlewas bit by theBroadway bug after seeing TheWizNational Tour inChicagowhen shewas 6 or 7 years old. She has always enjoyed singing and at age 12 she performed in her firstmusical, TheVelveteen Rabbit, atBowmanMiddle School. Pringlewent on to attendBTWHSP- VAwhere she studied ballet,modern,African and compositional stud- ies as amember of theAdvancedRepertory company.Outside of school she took jazz, lyrical, tap, hip-hop and contemporary dance at The Dallas Powerhouse ofDance and TheCentre forDance. Pringle attrib- utes her extensive training at these facilities for aiding her throughout her professional career. “Training atBooker T.mademe a highly aware artistwhomust care and protect her body and craft.Booker T. also taughtme themany sides and paths I could gowithin the arts and dance. It’s a big reasonwhy I amso fearlesswhen it comes tomy career.” Likemost dancers growing up inDallas Pringle also took part in local dance events such asDance Planet. “Before auditioning forBooker T. Iwas able to take anAfrican dance class atDance Planet. The dancers were so free and had a professional expression like nothing I had ever seen.After the class ImetMrs.Carla Stribling and she toldme to audi- tion forBooker T.”


Upon graduating fromBWHSPVAPringlemade the tough decision to attend college instead of heading straight toNewYorkCity to pursue her stage career. ”At the time Iwanted to go straight to college and fol- lowin the footsteps ofmy idols.All the people Imost admiredwent to college. Looking back now, I don’t regret the decision in the slightest. However, knowingwhat I knownow, Iwould have chosen a university closer toNYCor inNYC.” Pringle attended theNorthCarolina School of theArtswhere shemetmany incredible teachers, includingBrenda Daniels and Sean Sullivan. ”By nomeans amI aCunninghamdancer, butBrenda’s class taughtme somuch about length and expression. I also loved Sean’s composition and Limonmodern classes.When I dance nowI findmyself going back towhat I learned in his composi- tion and dance classwhen setting choreography and taking class.”


Pringlemade herBroadway debut in 2005 in Sweet Charitywith ChristinaApplegate andDennisO’Hare. She has also performed in pro- ductions of The LionKing andMemphis. For these productions she says the auditioning process couldn’t have beenmore different. ”The Lion Kingwas a showthatwas already up and running so coming in, the creative teamknewexactlywhat theywere looking for. Thank good- ness formymodern dance training atBooker T. because the audition quicklyweeded out the dancerswithoutmodern technique and acting abilities.” She continues, ”ForMemphis, the processwas a tadmore relaxed in that theywere looking for someone in particularwhile also not knowingwhat theywere looking for. I amthankful that Iwas the


page 12 Feb-Apr 2015 www.thedancecouncil.org


ach year theDance Planet committee, led byDanceCouncil of North Texas boardmemberGayleHalperin, seeks out an inspir- ingDallasitewho has found success in the competitiveworld of


right height, talent and person toworkwith themale dancer theywere most looking to pairmewith.”


Like every professional in showbusiness Pringle has also experienced her fair share of rejection. She says the best thing to knowabout rejec- tion is eight out of ten times IT’SNOTABOUT YOU! ”Iwouldn’t even call it a rejection. Forme it’s like the prince looking for the right person to fit in the glass slipper. I amlooking to see ifmy glass slipperwill fit this team. If not, noworries! Iwill find someone to fit the glass slipper I have.”


Today, Pringle is an adjunct professor at Texas StateUniversity teaching JazzDance in theMusical TheaterDepartment. She is also the artistic director and founder of Fearless YoungArtists (FYA)which provides an extensive creative arts education to a diverse group of youth interested in careerswithin the arts. “FYAoffersmaster classeswith artists from NYC, LAandChicago. Through the classes our young artists are able to learn to like professionals fromprofessionals.Wewill have a summer intensivewherewewill takemultiple classes and conclude the experi- encewith a finale show.”


Pringle plans to teach sections fromThe LionKing andMemphis atDance Planet 19 aswell as performa solo at the end of the performance show- case on Sunday afternoon. ”I hope the young artists leavemy classes with a smile and a better sense of self. Iwas always taughtwith so much tough love, butmostly love. I hope as I beginmy career in arts education I can deliver the same love Iwas given to every class I lead.”


Dance Planet 19 takes placeApril 11-12, 2015 atBTWHSPVAand includes 30 different kinds of dance and fitness classes all taught by renowned professionals fromacross the region and also features a per- formance showcase of 80 dance groups offering awide range of styles fromAfrican,Ballet,Cha-Cha andmore.More information is available atwww.thedancecouncil.org/


KatieDravenstott is a freelancewriter and dance instructor inDallas.Visit her blog atwww.kddance.wordpress.com/


DANCE!NORTHTEXAS a publication of the dance council of north texas vol 18 • no 1


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